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Light Research @ MMU


FINALLY…. My book has now been published by Minnesota Press!! The contents provide in-depth analysis of many of the themes discussed on this blog within three distinct sections: daylight, illumination and darkness. More specifically, here is the chapter outline:

Part I. Light
1. Seeing with Landscape, Seeing with Light
2. Under the Dynamic Sky: Living and Creating with Light
Part II. Illumination
3. Electric Desire: Lighting the Vernacular and Illuminating Nostalgia
4. Caught in the Light: Power, Inequality, and Illumination
5. Festivals of Illumination: Painting and Playing with Light
6. Staging Atmosphere: Public Extravaganzas and Homely Designs
Part III. Dark
7. Nocturnes: Changing Meanings of Darkness
8. The Re-enchantment of Darkness: The Pleasures of Noir
Conclusion: The Novelty of Light and the Value of Darkness

The book can be accessed at

It’s reasonably priced!!

March 27th, 2017 - 03:40am

Luminous skate park in Liverpool

Developing a sustainable and innovative approach to urban design and leisure provision,  Koo Jeong A has devised Evertro, a luminous skate park in Everton Park, Liverpool. The design incorporates the fluid slopes necessary for skaters and cyclists to play upon with a shapely sculptural form. Luminous material makes the installation available to skatyers and onlookers at all times of the day and night:

Evertro launch event at Everton Park. The Glow in the dark skateboard park was officially opened by Mayor Joe Anderson as children and adults flocked down to skate,bike and join in the fun. Artist Koo Jeong A was on hand for photographs while MP Steve Rotherham had a go at skateboarding.  Images by Gareth Jones  Thanks to Jo Hudson for drawing this to my attention

October 13th, 2015 - 15:30pm

The changing light on the Hudson River, the river that flows both ways

Here is another fantastic work by Spencer Finch. The River That Flows Both Ways is situated in the windows of a former loading dock in the former Chelsea Market Building alongside the former elevated freight railway in Manhattan that has been transformed into the wonderful High Line Park. The piece, entitled as a a translation of the Native American name for the River Hudson that refers to the way in which it flows in two directions, is composed out of 700 tinted panes of glass that represent the ever-changing, evanescent, multiple hues of the flowing water. Finch undertook a 700 minute journey along the river on a tugboat, photographing its surface every minute. Each pane of glass represents the colour of a single pixel from within each photograph and these are organised into a chronological sequence via a grid arrangement that tracks the journey. Though only a series of snapshots of the innumerable colours of the river that change in responses to the light cast by the angle of the sun and in accordance with season, time of day, weather conditions and water quality, the work honours the particular qualities of light that reflect off the surface of moving water and focuses on how this contributes to a particular sense of place, albeit one that is linear, ever-changing and continuously moving. Spencer Finch 4

January 4th, 2015 - 11:49am

Gertrude Street Festival part 2: Objects, Materials and Associations

Several of the projections at the GSPF use objects or unexpected surfaces, exploring materiality and its transformation through projected images and patterns. Olaf Meyer’s The People’s Car, parked a few metres down a sidestreet, is a 1968 white Volkswagen Beetle with digitally mapped projected designs that flicker, undulate and turn. Swirly stripes alternate with dynamic go-faster patterns and blocked colours that emphasise the shape, movement and psychedelic associations of the iconic car.Gertrude 5

On a smaller scale, broken brickwork is piled up in a shopfront to extend the illusion of masonry being shattered with a hammer. Keith Deverell’s Foundation speaks to gentrification (an aspect of recent developments in the Gertrude Street neighborhood) and processes of demolition. A still image from the projection shows a moment of impact, with bits of actual brick arranged to appear to cascade down from the flickering light of the installation. These works move beyond treating the surfaces of buildings as screens for projection art. Instead, they extend and deepen the artworks by blurring the material and immaterial and working narrative into the pieces, telling stories of and through the objects they employ. Mounted at street level, visitors can get up close to these works, and although the mechanics of the projectors are evident, the effect is still intriguing (posted by Shanti Sumartojo).Gertrude 6


July 29th, 2014 - 13:20pm

Fireworks, fountains, lasers and mist screens

In the 17th and 18th centuries, European monarchs adopted new technologies that transformed the overwhelming darkness of night of that era. They bedazzled subjects with lavish, baroque displays of fireworks and theatrical illuminations, displaying majesty and challenging religious power. Since then, the firework display has never lost its allure, and we continue to celebrate New Year’s Eve, independence days and bonfire night at increasingly organised, highly managed displays. Aquatique - lasers, fireworks, fountains

The practices of my youth, purchasing fireworks from local shops and letting them off in the back garden from the proceeds gathered from wheeling a stuffed dummy around the streets in search of a ‘penny for the guy’, and the pleasures of throwing jumping jacks and bangers around with gay abandon have vanished under the sway of health and safety regimes. Replacing these humble but nevertheless quite intimate, magical re-enchantments of everyday, homely space are ever more spectacular displays.Aquatique - red fountains

At Sydney’s VIVID, this advancement was underlined by the extraordinary display witnessed by throngs of spectators on all sides of Cockle Bay, by Vivid Aquatique Water Theatre which combines a visual feast of numerous illuminated dancing water fountains, four giant water screens composed of mist upon which fantasy figures were projected, tumultuous fireworks and blazing lasers. Aquatique - monsters and lasers

This multi-dimensional show certainly drew the requisite quantity of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the crowds and was certainly an enthralling though somewhat depthless display, perhaps in keeping with the massive programme of redevelopment that is turning the Darling Harbour area into a massive site of spectacle and consumption, replete with sumptuous bars and restaurants, retail spaces, aquaria, waxworks, cruises, theatres, nightclubs, museums, gardens and a casino, itself contributing to VIVID’s nightscape.Aquatique -trumpets, fountains and foreworks

June 8th, 2014 - 06:37am